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Influence of vineyard altitude on Glera grape ripening (Vitis vinifera L.): effects on aroma evolution and wine sensory profile

Alessandrini, Massimiliano, Gaiotti, Federica, Belfiore, Nicola, Matarese, Fabiola, D'Onofrio, Claudio, Tomasi, Diego
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2017 v.97 no.9 pp. 2695-2705
Vitis vinifera, altitude, biosynthesis, cultivars, flavor, grapes, odor compounds, odors, ripening, sensory evaluation, sparkling wines, temperature, vineyards, Italy
BACKGROUND: Environmental factors have been acknowledged to greatly influence grape and wine aromas. Among them, the effect of altitude on grape aroma compounds has scarcely been debated in literature available to date. In the present study, we investigated the influence of altitude on grape composition and aroma evolution during ripening of Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Glera grown in Conegliano‐Valdobbiadene DOCG area (Italy). RESULTS: The site at highest altitude (380 m above sea level) was warmer than the lowest site (200 m above sea level) and, even with differences in temperature in the range 1.5–2 °C, the impact of the cultivation site on grape ripening and aroma accumulation and preservation was significant. The lowest site demonstrated slower grape ripening, and grapes at harvest accumulated lower amounts of all of the main classes of aroma compounds typical of the Glera variety. Wines produced from the highest site were preferred in tasting trials for their more patent floral notes and elegance. CONCLUSION: Altitude strongly influences grape ripening evolution and flavour accumulation in the Glera grape, and this result accounts for the different styles in the sparkling wines subsequently produced. Moreover, the present study shows that aroma compound biosynthesis, particularly that of benzenoides, starts before véraison in Glera. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry